Hawks vs. Clippers Spread Holds Value for Tonight's NBA Picks

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, January 5, 2015 6:50 PM GMT

Although this NBA handicapper would normally hesitate backing the East vs. the West, the Hawks are a rare exception tonight as they face the LA Clippers.

Atlanta Hawks vs. LA Clippers (-5-) 10:35 ET
This is a matchup of two of the best teams in the NBA.  Atlanta sits atop the Eastern Conference with a 25-8 SU mark, including a lofty road record of 11-5 SU, 12-4 ATS.  Would normally hesitate backing the East vs. the West, as Western Conference teams hold a notable 120-74 SU (20-8 ATS recently) advantage over the Eastern Conference brethren.  Yet, the Hawks are a rare exception, posting a record of 8-2 SU vs. the West.  This includes 7 consecutive victories against Western Conference opponents. The LA Clippers are a solid 23-11 SU for the season.  But, that is only good enough for 6th place in the brutal Western Conference standings.  Let’s take a look at these teams current form, the situation and technical edges.

On December 23rd, the Clippers visited Atlanta where they absorbed a 107-104 defeat.  Since that game, this is their 6th consecutive home game in a 9-game home stand.  The Clippers have regained solid form with a 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS record.  LAC’s most recent 2 victories have come by dominant margins of 21 and 36 against the weak links of the East, Philly and New York.  Yet, those two covers only bring their record on this court to 7-10 ATS as home chalk of 4 or more points in NBA odds.  We do run the danger in fading them that this streaky team is on an uptick.  For, those two covers have followed pointspread streaks of 3-10 ATS, preceded by 8-2 ATS, preceded by 1-6 ATS. 

But, no team in the NBA is hotter than these Hawks.  They have won 18 of their last 20 games, going 17-3 ATS in that streak.  That includes 4 consecutive wins as they enter tonight’s game, including a 115-107 victory at 26-8 SU Portland on Saturday night.  That made it 6 consecutive road wins and covers for Atlanta, including Houston, Dallas, Cleveland and Portland.  This was an Atlanta team that was just 38-44 SU last season.  Major improvement has come on the defensive end, where they have improved from allowing 102 PPG to just 97 PPG.  That is due to the influence of a coaching staff who has implemented principles from the highly successful San Antonio organization. 

Plenty of value in this line with the hottest team in the NBA receiving more than home court value!  We have been riding the Hawks with our NBA picks during their win streak and see no reason to jump off them today at this price. 

Free NBA Picks: Take Atlanta Hawks +5.5 (-106) at Pinnacle